By John Tomase The San Diego Chargers apparently learned nothing from Freddie Mitchell, Mike Vanderjagt and other players who opened their mouths before playing the Patriots in the postseason. If they had, they would understand that no comment is innocuous enough to avoid setting off the Pats. The two squads meet in the divisional round tomorrow, and there already are rumblings of discontent in the Patriots locker room regarding a lack of respect from the West Coast, where the Chargers have proclaimed they‚Äôre going to the Super Bowl. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôll just lay low and let some guys run their mouth a little bit,‚ÄĚ Pats defensive end Richard Seymour [stats] said yesterday. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôll do our talking on the field.‚ÄĚ Unlike Mitchell, the former Philadelphia Eagles receiver who memorably said he ‚Äúhad a little something‚ÄĚ for Rodney Harrison, or Vanderjagt, the ex-Colts kicker who said the Patriots were ‚Äúripe for the picking,‚ÄĚ the Chargers haven‚Äôt overtly called out the Pats this week. Instead, the Pats are steaming because of phone calls between receiver Reche Caldwell and some of his former Chargers teammates, who insist they‚Äôre going to mop the floor with the Patriots tomorrow. ‚ÄúThey don‚Äôt think too highly of us, from what Reche says,‚ÄĚ quarterback Tom Brady said. Caldwell seemed amused by the trash-talk, which he characterized as good-natured, but intent almost is secondary in New England, where the Patriots could find disrespect in a papal blessing. ‚ÄúI still talk to those guys,‚ÄĚ said Caldwell, who played in San Diego from 2002-05. ‚ÄúThey‚Äôre doing a lot of trash-talking, (saying) they‚Äôre getting ready for the Super Bowl and things like that. It‚Äôs just friendly conversation. That‚Äôs it. ‚ÄúThey think they‚Äôre the best team in the league. They‚Äôve got the best record in the league, and they‚Äôve been playing real well in all areas of the game. I think they‚Äôre looking past us.‚ÄĚ Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, not considered a stir-it-up type by any stretch, has said in recent days his team plans on going to the Super Bowl. That‚Äôs not on par with Steelers coach Bill Cowher instructing his players to make Super Bowl reservations before the 2001 AFC Championship Game - he was being practical, but the Patriots took it as a grave insult - the presumptuousness still bothered a number of Pats, who bit their tongues in print. Gates, for his part, can‚Äôt fathom the hubbub. ‚ÄúSometimes, as a team, if you need to find something to motivate you, so be it,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúI respect the Patriots. I respect what they‚Äôve done. I respect the dynasty. I respect how they emphasize team, whether they know it or not. ‚ÄúBut let me say, when you say Super Bowl, I don‚Äôt think it‚Äôs disrespecting the Patriots for us to talk about what our goal is. That‚Äôs our goal. That‚Äôs been our goal since Day 1. That‚Äôs going to continue to be our goal. Beating New England is a step toward our ultimate goal.‚ÄĚ No matter. The underdog Patriots can use it as motivation, just as they‚Äôre aware of comments the Chargers made following last season‚Äôs 41-17 victory at Gillette Stadium, which ended the Pats‚Äô 21-game home winning streak. As the Chargers left the field, defensive coordinator Wade Phillips let out a whoop and yelled, ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs an ass-whupping.‚ÄĚ The next day‚Äôs Providence Journal quoted cornerback Drayton Florence admonishing a group of onlookers in the bowels of Gillette: ‚Äú(Expletive) New England and their team. Get the look of shock off your faces. Don‚Äôt be shocked. We beat your ass.‚ÄĚ The Pats might not complain about the comments publicly, but it‚Äôs a safe bet they‚Äôve come up in private. ‚ÄúWhen they played us last year, (Caldwell) knows exactly what his coach said about us leading up to the game,‚ÄĚ Brady said. ‚ÄúBut that‚Äôs kind of like all of us. There‚Äôs a lot of pride you have in yourself. Going up against somebody like when we played the Jets, we didn‚Äôt think they were any good. But of course they were. You just have to convince yourself they‚Äôre not. That‚Äôs just the way it goes.‚ÄĚ The Patriots playing the respect card? Now that‚Äôs just the way it goes. Should they prevail tomorrow, they‚Äôll likely have some interesting things to say.